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Fred Frith tech talk

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Dayvenkirq View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Fred Frith tech talk
    Posted: January 19 2014 at 23:28
Hello, everyone. As the thread title suggests, let's talk about Fred's stuff.

Found this image on Last.fm of him using the only custom six-/eight-string double-neck crafted by one Charles Fletcher.


1) Does anyone know anything about Mr. Fletcher?
2) What are the things attached to the nuts and heads of the necks?

Originally posted by Down Beat magazine

It was the one and only guitar that he ever built ... he constructed it mainly out of old pieces from other guitars that I had, and for the body I think he used an old door.


Edited by Dayvenkirq - January 19 2014 at 23:34
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Triceratopsoil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 20 2014 at 00:05
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq



2) What are the things attached to the nuts and heads of the necks?


from a comment on a youtube video of him playing live -

"The "device" behind the nut is actually an extra pick-up, an extraneous one held in an aluminum harness bolted onto the nut, that picks up notes and pitches that sound behind and on the nut. In many pieces of his, you can hear what sounds like a scale going up as another scale goes down, both sounding at the same time. This is because the pick-up on the headstock actually picks up a "reverse" scale of notes that sound behind the frets. It's a very interesting technique."


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 20 2014 at 00:07
^ Nice. Thumbs Up I actually tried doing that with my two hands, but only plucking behind the frets. But you can pluck both ends.

Edited by Dayvenkirq - January 20 2014 at 00:08
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 20 2014 at 18:39
Huge huge huge Frith fan.  I got to see him on the Skeleton Crew tour with Zeena Parkins and Tom Cora. They did two shows, one of SC songs and one of just improv.  One of my favorite concert memories from the '80's.  We in the audience broke into spontaneous polyrhythmic clapping during one of the breaks.   Way cool. Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 20 2014 at 18:45
^ Spontaneous polyrhythmic clapping?! Nice! Thumbs Up ... I'd think you wouldn't be allowed to do that, but it turns out the performers weren't so stringent about that.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 21 2014 at 05:53
Originally posted by Triceratopsoil

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq



2) What are the things attached to the nuts and heads of the necks?


from a comment on a youtube video of him playing live -

"The "device" behind the nut is actually an extra pick-up, an extraneous one held in an aluminum harness bolted onto the nut, that picks up notes and pitches that sound behind and on the nut. In many pieces of his, you can hear what sounds like a scale going up as another scale goes down, both sounding at the same time. This is because the pick-up on the headstock actually picks up a "reverse" scale of notes that sound behind the frets. It's a very interesting technique."


I guess the reverse note would sound flat unless it's stopped by the higher fret, which is probably okay for notes from the 12th fret down to the bridge but more difficult as you get closer to the nut, though of course with his flat-on-the-lap technique that's not such an issue.


Frith also played the modified guitar with a capo splitting the fret board in two and picked either side of it.




All that culminates in the very wonderful:


Edited by Dean - January 21 2014 at 05:54


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Triceratopsoil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 25 2014 at 19:46
^ out of all the things Frith has played, his weirdass ambient sh*t remains by far my favourite
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pitfall Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 27 2014 at 18:43
The picture above shows him abusing his Gibson es 345, which I saw him playing with Henry Cow many years ago.
It had most of the binding hanging off the lower side of the neck throughout the gig - it's still showing damage there in this shot.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Stomach Cheese Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 05 2014 at 14:44
Originally posted by Triceratopsoil

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq



2) What are the things attached to the nuts and heads of the necks?


from a comment on a youtube video of him playing live -

"The "device" behind the nut is actually an extra pick-up, an extraneous one held in an aluminum harness bolted onto the nut, that picks up notes and pitches that sound behind and on the nut. In many pieces of his, you can hear what sounds like a scale going up as another scale goes down, both sounding at the same time. This is because the pick-up on the headstock actually picks up a "reverse" scale of notes that sound behind the frets. It's a very interesting technique."



That's an amazing idea.  I can tell in these recordings too that he actually panned the pickups to opposite sides of the mix, and it sounds like a third pickup may be in the middle as well.  Are there any more recent endeavors to construct guitars like that?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PC-72 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 05 2014 at 20:34
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq


2) What are the things attached to the nuts and heads of the necks?


Mouse traps, in case he had to perform John Stump scores.
A negative number was raised to a power that is not an integer.
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